The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


        A life-long resident of Pemberville, Bob Bruning has impacted many local residents during his lifetime.             It was his own family who impacted him.

        Bob grew up with his brothers Dale and Ronald on the Bruning homestead on Alexander Road that has been in the family since 1861.


        Bob’s father, Lawrence, was a 20-year member of the Pemberville School District Board of Education as well as the president and member of the initial Eastwood Board of Education. He was instrumental in overcoming the opposition to the consolidation and was rewarded for those efforts by seeing the construction of Eastwood High School in 1960.

        His brother, Dale, was a long-time teacher and very successful coach at Eastwood while Ron continued the farming tradition on the Bruning homestead. Bob’s specialty became banking and real estate.

        As noted in the 2007 Pemberville Fair Book, “Many have said, ‘If it wasn’t for Bob, I wouldn’t own a home or I wouldn’t own a business.’”

        Bruning will be inducted into the Eastwood Alumni Association’s Eagle Way Hall of Fame for his contributions to the community. He will be inducted along with accomplished Midwestern artist Emanuel Enriquez (Class of 1966), internationally recognized geriatric physician and researcher Dr. Jeremy Walston (1979), and decorated U.S. Army chaplain Colonel David Bowlus (1989). The four were voted in by alumni association members over other candidates.

        “Clearly, Bob’s outstanding career in banking, combined with his community-centric disposition, has positively improved the lives of many area residents for the last 60-plus years,” states a biography edited by alumni association committee member and nominator Mike Godfrey.

        “Bob’s undying attention to this community serves as a blue print for any citizen who wishes to contribute to any community. When not giving his energies and abilities to this community, Bob enjoys tennis, skiing, yard work, and maintaining rental properties. Even at 86 years of age, Bob still displays an energy, an enthusiasm, and a commitment to this community that mirrors his life of giving.”

Military service to banking             

        After graduating from Pemberville High School in 1950, Bruning began his studies at Bowling Green State University before being drafted into the Korean War. He served in Korea from July 1953 through June 1955 as a sergeant attached to the United States Command Military Armistice Commission which required a high security clearance.

        Bruning was one of only three American military personnel working with this team assigned to the Port of Pusan, Korea and the K-9 air base. His duties were to see that the inspection team was notified of incoming and outgoing ships and planes, to arrange transportation to port, to keep records of which officers went to the port, their time of departure, time of return, and to record the number of troops and amount of weapons that came in or departed. 

        Bruning’s responsibilities, seven days a week for 12-14 hours per day, earned him commendations from colleagues to the liaison officer. Such devotion to duty led to the following military awards and citations: Commendation Ribbon with Medal Pendant, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, and Good Conduct Medal.

        Upon returning from his military duties, Bruning resumed his studies at BGSU under the G.I. Bill. In October of 1956, he began his banking career as a teller at The Citizens Savings Bank Company in Pemberville.

        Bruning’s abilities were showcased over the years as numerous promotions eventually led to him being named the bank’s president in 1969, a position he held for 22 years before his retirement from banking in 1992. During his presidency, Bob served as a state director of the Community Bankers Association of Ohio. Clearly, Bob Bruning was a very involved and knowledgeable professional.

        Early in his tenure, Bob became a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. Throughout the years, he enhanced his knowledge by taking numerous banking courses through the American Institute of Banking and at Ohio University. Upon his retirement from banking, over 400 people attended a Bob Bruning Appreciation Day.

        Bob’s career enabled thousands of his clients to become home owners and small business owners which brought him great job satisfaction. In 1994, in order to continue to serve our community following his banking career, Bob purchased the R.R. Sarver Appraisal business and changed the name to Multi-County Real Estate Appraisal Service.

        As a certified real estate appraiser and licensed realtor, Bob was providing another needed service to our community. His background in banking served as a valued asset in the financing and appraisal of homes, first with Newlove Realty and then with Denny Henline’s Home Town Realty. Bob’s realty work led to him being a member of the Wood County Board of Realtors, Toledo Board of Realtors, Ohio Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. Bob still serves as a Probate Court Appraiser for both Wood and Sandusky counties.

60-plus years serving

        As if his professional career was not time consuming enough, Bob Bruning spent countless hours serving his home town community in many capacities. Over the last 60-plus years, Bob’s finger prints are all over the Village of Pemberville, which has contributed to an even finer village.

  • Commander of the Freedom Post No. 183 American Legion from 2006-08 during which time the Riverview Banquet Centre was established. This necessitated improvements to the hall while implementing measures to ensure the long-term financial stability of the post.
  • Over the years, Bob, a lifetime member of the post, has participated in military funerals for veterans, had a big hand in interviewing and selecting boys for Buckeye Boys State, posted the flags for the American Legion in the downtown business district for over 10 years for all federal holidays, the Fair, and other special events, and for many years decorated the graves of our community’s veterans. Bob’s commitment and service to the military was honored in his selection as an Honor Flight participant to Washington D.C. on June 5, 2018.
  • Member and frequent volunteer of the Pemberville-Freedom Historical Society
  • Life member and former director of the Wood County Historical Society
  • Former Village of Pemberville council member
  • Director and treasurer of Portage Valley Nursing Home
  • Three time president of Bethlehem Lutheran’s Congregation while also serving on numerous committees over the years including the Building Committee (1961) when the educational wing and the Fellowship Hall were constructed; Long Range Planning Committee, the Capital Improvements Committee (2009), and the Personnel Committee from 2014-17. Bob also served as the church’s financial secretary over the years.
  • Past Master (1976) and treasurer (over 30 years) of Pemberville Lodge No. 516 and a 32nd degree Mason. The Mason theme is “To Make Good Men Better.”Masons greatly contribute to such causes as the Special Olympics, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, and the Masonic Home in Springfield, Ohio.
  • Served on the original Board of Directors of the Community Pool Corporation that planned the pool, raised the funds to build it, and participated in the construction of it. Bob learned to lay bricks and he and a friend laid most of the bricks for the pool’s bath house. Bob served as the pool treasurer for 15 years.
  • Served on the Pemberville Free Fair Board for several years as treasurer
  • Served on the original committee/board of the Eastwood Educational Foundation that structured the E.E.F.
  • 1976 President of Wood/Lucas Banker’s Association
  • 1986 Eastwood FFA Honorary Chapter Farmer
  • 2007 Pemberville Fair’s Outstanding Citizen; 2018 Bob and his wife Joanne were selected at the Pemberville Fair’s Senior King and Queen.
  • 2018 Honor Flight Veteran to Washington, D.C.

        A life-long resident of Pemberville, Bob Bruning was born June 10, 1932 to Lawrence and Elsie (Holtmeyer) Bruning,

        Bob and his wife of 61 years, Joanne, have two children: Tom (Katie) Bruning and Lisa (Rick) Meyer, both of Pemberville. Bob and Joanne also cherish their four grandchildren: Steven Bruning, Victoria (Mark) Richards, Kelsey Meyer, and Dan Meyer.

        Tickets for the February 23 Eagle Way Hall of Fame Banquet, to be held at the Pemberville American Legion, are just $25 and includes a chicken or steak entree, sides, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverages. A cash bar will also be available. This price also includes the memorable induction ceremony for the four inductees. Tickets may be purchased at the Eastwood High School office, the Pemberville Library, or from any committee member. Visit




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